Rosie’s new dermatologist

Rosie met with the dermatologist today and holy cow, she’s a hot mess!

She’s got hair follicles that need exfoliation on her face, she’s got hairs on her head/muzzle that need plucked (very similar to preening a bird) so they don’t get infected, she’s got some sort of patchy infection on her back which he took scrapings of (not mange) and she’s got some staph infections and yeast.

She’s already on a special diet to ward off allergies since French Bulldog tend to have food and environmental allergies. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the problem though.

She got a shot of antibiotics and oral anti fungal, medicated wipes and medicated cream. She’s wiped out from the hour-long car ride and all the poking and prodding.


Game of Thrones – Season 4: Episode 2 “The Lion and The Rose”

When I’m not feeling well I watch tv or movies which means I end up watching a lot of tv and movies.  One of my favorite series is the HBO series Game of Thrones which just started season 4.  Episode 2 aired tonight and it is by far by favorite episode of all of them so far because my least favorite character died!

*****************************SPOILER ALERT****************************************

So, the wedding takes place between the bratty King Joffrey Lannister and the lovely and virginal Queen Margery Tyrell-Baratheon-Lannister who has previously been married to Renly Baratheon but he had no interest in being married to her.  He was killed and their marriage was never consummated so she was freed to marry Joffrey.

During the reception, Joffrey is his extraordinarily bratty self and while partaking of the wedding pie, chokes and is poisoned to death.  Of course, Cersie blames the whole thing on her brother, Tyrion Lannister, who Joffrey was picking on at the time.

Since don’t read the books I am completely dependent upon the show.  I am not a fan of the fantasy genre of books because I can’t keep all the names and locations straight and George R.R. Martin has tons of locations and characters to keep track of

On repeated watching, I am now convinced that it was the pie that was poisoned. Joffrey takes a drink of wine before the pie is even brought out and is fine then the pie is brought out and he is the only one who eats any of it.

Birthday Party for My Kids

My boys are dying to have a big birthday party this year and my oldest, Bug, would really like it to be based on his favorite TV show Wipeout.  But throwing a birthday party for them has me really nervous about how long afterwards I’m going to have to pay for it.  A week?  Two weeks?  How much will I sacrifice for them to have the best birthday party they can have.  They already sacrifice so much because their mom is chronically ill; to miss out on having the birthday parties just isn’t fair.  I’m going to do my best and I’m going to call in all the help I can so that it isn’t quite so hard for me but in the end I will still pay.



I’m lucky that my Rosie is the perfect girl for me. When we lost Nikki in 2011 we knew we wanted to get another dog but not another Shih Tzu because of all the grooming and frenchies seemed like the perfect breed. Funny and silly, don’t need tons of exercise but willing to go on walks and to the dog park as much or as little as we wanted. So we started looking.

After getting burned on a transaction I was really worried that we were ever going to find the right dog and then I found an ad from a breeder in Spokane who had a small litter of fawn puppies and Rosie (named willow at the time) was available. I sent my deposit.

Then came the complication of getting her – it’s an eight hour drive to Spokane and they couldn’t meet me half way as they’d already done a trip the previous weekend so I booked a flight. It wasn’t very much on Horizon and I managed to book it so that I was taking the same plane home the I took to Spokane but it didn’t leave me much time on the ground (about 30 min) so we had to be quick! We signed papers they gave me the puppy in her blanket and I put her in her carry on bag and we got on the plane to go home where she promptly fell asleep.

She has been by my side ever since. When I don’t feel well, she’s right by my side. When I do feel good she’s willing to do whatever I want to do right by my side. She is my half. She is the perfect dog.

Celebrate the Good Days

Every once in awhile we have a really good day. A day where I’m feeling either decent or really good, the kids are behaving and things are just going well. Today is one of those days and I cherish it. There isn’t anything special about today – it’s just a random day at the end of spring break. But I managed to telecommute this week so that the boys wouldn’t have to go to daycare and I could save a few hundred bucks.

Today we sat around together and played cards – a game called “Kings in the Corner” which their dad taught them. We played for a couple of hours in a couple of chunks today and we had a great time! They kept exclaiming that this was the best fun ever and we should do this all the time and have scheduled game night.

I’m so glad for these moments and I cherish them because they don’t happen very often.

Mom Guilt Times Eleventybillion

When you get pregnant you automatically get mom guilt installed so that any time you feel like you are failing your kid(s) the mom guilt kicks in. When you are a single mom, the mom guilt ramps up because you’ve now either put your kids through the pain of a divorce or the pain of not having the same relationship with the other parent they had or whatever.

Then throw in being the primary parent and being chronically sick. The guilt ramps up to limits that only spy planes can see. Because see, I can’t do all the things that my SAHM friends can do for their kids. My kids don’t get the Hawaii or Disneyland vacations because I don’t have the stamina or the funds. My kids don’t have the helicopter mom who fusses over their every move because I just can’t.  They’re lucky they have a couple of unwrapped presents from Amazon for their birthday and maybe some sort of birthday treat.

And in some ways, maybe that’s good. They are growing up a little more independent than other kids would be because they have to do a few more things for themselves than other kids would have to do. But they also watch too much tv and that’s not ok. And they bicker and fight more than I would like and that’s not ok.  But it also means my mom guilt has reached all time highs. Atmospheric.  I wish I’d had a crystal ball 20 years ago so I could have planned my life better.

Life on Unemployment

I left under duress in November 2011 but I had no idea that three years after the collapse of the economy that I would have such a hard time finding a job.

I mistakenly thought that since I was a pretty high profile project manager within the such a reputable company that I’d be able to find something else fairly quickly and that I’d be able to bank my severance money.  What I didn’t count on was that 2011 was still the worst job economy ever, even in the tech sector, even in jobs like mine and that a simple Project Manager job would get anywhere from 50-300 applications for a single job.  I was lucky to even get the handful of interviews that I got during the two years of unemployment. I couldn’t even get a job at Starbucks as a barista!

That last week I was at work was also the week that my ex moved out of our house. Most companies don’t do much hiring in December so I had planned on spending December getting my resume together and then hitting the ground running in January.

But then my dad’s cancer got worse and went from just a simple case of prostate cancer to a serious case of stage 4 liver cancer. He did one round of chemo in February and when that wasn’t enough his cancer doc threw up his hands and said “Oh Well!” and sent dad home to die. I asked dad to get a second opinion and we met with a new cancer doc May 30th, 2012.  He gave us some very promising options, but all of it had to be coordinated through dad’s existing oncologist (who didn’t want to do anything).  On June 11th, 2012 dad passed away.

It took a few months to get all of the things settled from dad’s funeral and help mom get settled and deal with her financials and house stuff.  At the same time, I was trying to help my own kids deal with the loss of their beloved grandfather and a very messy split from my ex.

While all of that was taking place, my divorce was also chugging along through the judicial system. I seriously believe that we should charge a significant amount of money to GET MARRIED and divorce should cost almost nothing. My divorce was awful in large part due to the fact that my ex-husband was completely unresponsive and would not communicate with my attorney. For a very brief period of time he had an attorney that was 100% funded by his father and it only served to delay the process! make things more expensive for me and create more work for me and my attorney. Eventually she withdrew as his attorney because even she could not get him to respond to her.

Our state requires all couples go to mediation first before going to court to first try to resolve everything and my attorney recommended that I pay for this one place (usually the costs are shared between both parties but we knew my ex wouldn’t pay) so that we could hopefully just get things resolved and done. It was not inexpensive and it took several hours and my ex’s first request was to get back together (I declined) but in the end I was able to resolve most of the issues and get a clear, firm parenting plan in place. Of course, my ex being who he is said “I don’t want to pay a single penny in child support,” but the mediator disabused him of that notion and while he doesn’t pay a single penny it isn’t much more.

How the FIbro Started

So, how fibromyalgia starts is different for everyone but how it started for me is pretty easy to pinpoint.  I had the chronic pain already, I was dealing with a horrible work situation*, my marriage was falling apart**, the pain was ramping up due to the horrible work situation and boom, I started getting the fibromyalgia symptoms.  Sadly, when I went to my primary care doctor who was treating me at the time to talk about it, I was already taking all of the recommended fibro drugs and there really wasn’t anything else she could give me except for a muscle relaxer which she did add to my combo of medications.  So, YAY ME, I GET CHRONIC PAIN AND FIBRO TOO!!!

*This gets its own post

**So does this one

The Pain Clinic

So – some of these post are running concurrently but I have to write about them in their parts rather than as a whole:

So, after some prodding from some friends I found a pain clinic where all they treat is pain. It wasn’t sure at first but once I was there, I knew this is what I needed.  After speaking with the doctor about what had happened, we realized that it was likely the staph that damaged the nerves in my faces after the surgery and that it was probably permanent.  Since I was just taking OTC medication, he put me on some low dose pain medication, gave me a pee-in-the-cup drug test and an appointment for a month later. I saw him every 28-days to get my medication and had my random drug tests and things were going pretty well.  He recommended that I even have a few procedures that would inject lidocaine into the nerve bundle that goes into my face (the injection takes place in the neck) so I had a few of those, until I had one that went really really bad where he couldn’t find the nerve and spent 45 minutes poking around my neck with the needle, leaving my neck looking like a purple pin cushion.

After a couple of years at the pain clinic, I moved on to a physical therapy clinic because I was having additional issues with my shoulder and my neck and so that doctor took over management of my pain medication and then when I was finished with physical therapy my primary care doctor took over management.  I’ve had three different primary care doctors in the same clinic who have managed my medication and strangely none of them were worried about the DEA.

But now I’m at the point where I need something else; something different.  I’ve been on the same medications and doses for over 4 years and it’s worked well for the most part but now it isn’t and it’s time for a change.